The Cleveland Cavaliers are throwing around the possibility of adding Derrick Rose to their roster of All-Stars. It will be a great move for many reasons. It will give the Cavs the playmaker LeBron James wanted last year, instead, they ended up with the washed-up Deron Williams. Rose is not much of an assist man but if he were to buy into the Cavs system he could turn his career around. Think of the matchups issues teams would have with Rose and Kyrie Irving on the floor together.
The main reason fans should want to see Rose in a Cavs uniform is that it should finally put J.R. Smith back into a reserve role where he belongs.
Tyronn Lue would be a fool not to start Rose in the same backcourt with Kyrie Irving. Think of the scoring opportunities both could have, plus having two players who love to attack the rim would benefit LeBron and Kevin Love the most. Irving has improved his perimeter game since James came back to Cleveland, however, his game is still based on getting to the paint. Much like 80 percent of the point guards in today’s game, Irving is a score-first player. His facilitator skills leave room for improvement, but pairing him with Rose will give Irving the green light to score at will without thinking about assists.
Rose is the same way. Back when Rose was a dominant player, he played with a reckless abandon that has only been matched by Russell Westbrook. While with the Knicks, Rose provided flashes of being the former MVP but his body would no longer let him control a game as it once did. But this can work to his and the Cavs advantage if everyone is willing to accept a lesser role.
For Irving, it would mean he has to play off the ball more plus be a bit more active on the defensive end of the floor. For James, it will mean fewer shots but also less wear and tear on his body as the season progresses. Love will benefit as he loves to sit behind the three-point line and now with two ball handlers able to get the paint with a quick first step it will draw defenders in, leaving Love open from the perimeter.
This will only work if Rose is willing to take a pay cut from his 2016 salary of $21M he made with the New York Knicks last season. The Cavs are strapped for cash but if Rose is willing to play for a vets minimum in order to win a championship and rejuvenate his career then this would be a better move than him going to the Los Angeles Lakers as reported. In 2016, Rose averaged 18 points but only four assists on 47 percent shooting for the Knicks. Irving, on the other hand, averaged 25 points and six assists on 47 percent shooting.
The deal will surely put the Cavs on the fast track back to the NBA Finals as a Rose and Irving backcourt may be one of the best in the league considering their skills. The Cavs tried Williams and it didn’t work but why not switch things up and hand the ball to Rose and let Irving run wild on the perimeter with James?